Dora B. Montefiore 1909

Red Banners

Source: The Social Democrat, Vol. XIII No. 10 October 1909;
Transcription: Ted Crawford.
HTML Markup: Brian Reid.
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2007). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

Red Banners

As the Autumn down the year’s path stealing
Hangs its scarlet banners through the land,
Touching copse and moorland, ash and rowan,
With the magic of its crimson wand;
So our cause steals over hill and valley,
Wafts through hamlet glimpse of vision red;
Catches tree-tops of the great world thinkers,
Flaunts the scarlet banner overhead.

Banner dyed with Privilege’s life stream,
Banner stained with Feudal year's decay,
Stiff with weary workers’ blood-red heart drops,
Borne aloft by staggering men at bay.
Banner carried through the mart and workshop,
Hailed by comrades as the token sure:
“From red Autumn’s reek and Winter’s death pangs
Rises Spring with hope and purpose sure!”

Come, then, Comrades, lend a hand to Autumn,
Hang out scarlet banners through the land;
Let each village, hamlet, cot and roadside
Feel the magic of our crimson wand;
Preach our Gospel over hill and valley;
Give our cause hot words and visions red;
Gather in the conscripts for the battle,
Flaunt the scarlet banner overhead!

Let us vow beneath red stains of Autumn
Never more shall child be starved or lone;
Never more shall weary man or woman
Seek for work and bread—and find a stone.
Never more shall man enslave his brother
With the gold from sweated workers got;
Never more shall wealth lie stored and useless,
While folk shiver, starve and rot.

’Tis the workers who must free the workers;
’Tis the toilers’ blood has dyed our flag;
Come, then, comrades, lend a hand to Autumn,
Flaunt the red on moorland and on crag!
Ye are many in your sweltering slum-lands,
They are few, and in their hearts is dread;
Lo! the red pall o’er the land is spreading,
Flaunt the scarlet banner overhead!